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Greater support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children in remote areas and areas of high need and practical intervention programs to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Responsible government

  • Commonwealth

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 4 Address intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through primary prevention, including holistic healing strategies, and by strengthening connections to culture, language, knowledge and identity.
  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
    • 6 Value and engage the expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men, communities and organisations to lead in the creation and implementation of community-led solutions to build and manage change.
    • 8 Develop innovative and alternative models for victim and perpetrator support that contribute to safe healing and sustainable behaviour change.
    • 9 Address both the immediate impacts and deep underlying drivers of family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through collective action with governments, service providers and communities.
  • Respect, listen and respond to the diverse lived experience and knowledge of women and their children affected by violence
    • 10 Implement community-led and tailored initiatives to address the unique experiences and needs of communities affected by multiple forms of discrimination or inequality.

What are we doing?

Under the first Indigenous-specific measure greater support will be provided for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children in remote areas and areas of high need.

Services will be delivered through holistic, intensive family case management, support and counselling. This includes providing access to services that will work with the whole family to address the impacts of violence.

The second Indigenous-specific measure provides practical intervention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and adults at risk of experiencing or using violence,. This initiative aims to equip this cohort with the practical tools and skills to develop positive and violence-free relationships and also acknowledge past trauma.

  • The Commonwealth Government is providing $13.5 million between 2019–20 and 2021–22 for both Indigenous specific measures under the Fourth Action Plan.

What have we achieved so far?

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) is working with nine service providers to co-design violence reduction activities that meet the Fourth Action Plan Indigenous-specific measures:

  1. 1. Greater support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children in remote areas and areas of high need so they are able to access services that work with the whole family to address the impacts of violence (through holistic, intensive family case management support and counselling)
  2. 2. Practical intervention programs to work with Indigenous young people and adults at risk of experiencing or using violence to address past trauma and equip them with the practical tools and skills to develop positive and violence-free relationships (focused on young men).

The co-design process commenced in July 2020 via regional workshops with service providers and relevant local stakeholders. Providers are also supported by facilitators from Arrilla Indigenous Consulting and an Expert Reference Group – consisting of Professor Judy Atkinson and Jeremy Donovan – to ensure the service delivery models are locally-tailored, culturally safe, trauma-informed and meet the intent of the Indigenous-specific measures.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the co-design workshops are being delivered virtually and every effort is being made to ensure the participants’ experience is inclusive, safe and supportive, engaging and as ‘real’ as possible.

These co-design workshops are located in Kununurra (Western Australia), Port Augusta (South Australia), Ceduna (South Australia), Gove Peninsula (Northern Territory) Darwin (Northern Territory), Katherine (Northern Territory), Townsville (Queensland) and Mackay (Queensland).

What is next?

Following the completion of the co-design process, successful providers will be funded to implement the service delivery models from 1 October 2020 to 30 June 2022.

Service delivery is expected to be implemented from the third quarter of 2020, and could include:

  • modelling the initiative on best-practice standards,
  • a holistic approach supporting education and engagement, and providing boys and young men with practical tools and skills to address past trauma and develop positive and violence-free relationships, and
  • a combination of cultural healing practices and western trauma treatment therapies, to ensure the initiative is culturally appropriate and builds on existing evidence.

What difference will we make?

Intended outcomes of these initiatives include:

  • Indigenous women and children in remote areas and areas of high need have improved access to trauma informed, intensive, wrap-around services that are culturally appropriate.
  • Indigenous organisations in areas of high need are better equipped to deliver holistic, intensive case management support and counselling to the whole family.
  • Indigenous young people and adults at risk of experiencing or using violence have an improved understanding of family and domestic violence, and are equipped with the practical tools and skills to develop positive and violence free relationships.
  • Referral pathways in the community are identified for the target cohort.
  • Indigenous organisations in areas of high need are better equipped to deliver holistic, intensive case management support and counselling to the whole family.

Indicators and service delivery models are being developed during the co-design phase of this initiative.

The intended long-term outcomes for the initiative will aim to achieve a significant and sustained reduction in violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.

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